This is a reinvented (and improved) version of Whole Foods’ delicious cookies. The store’s version is on the left and my version is on the right. Enough said (if you love chocolate).
Any serious chocolate lover will adore these intensely chocolatey, addictive cookies – and can do so without too much guilt, happily. I reinvented these based on what might be the best item offered in Whole Foods’ bakeries – namely, their vegan German chocolate cookies. However, I reduced the fat (the Whole Foods version are little grease balls), cut back on the sweeteners and otherwise revamped the recipe (or rather, what I assume is the recipe because I’ve only seen the ingredient list on the package) to maximize what’s most delicious in this wonderful treat. Truthfully, these are less “German” due to the intensified chocolate-ness but that should be fine to most folks. My version is way easy to make, too.
1 ½ cups unbleached wheat flour
½ cup (or a bit more) Dutch process cocoa (I highly recommend Perugina or Valrhona, try Draeger’s or other upscale markets, or the Internet)
½ teas. salt
1 teas baking soda
¼ cup sugar (use more if you want sweeter cookies)
½ cup brown sugar (or more for sweeter cookies)
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (I bought organic stuff from Whole Foods)
½ teas vanilla
½ cup (or more) thawed “fruit juice concentrate” (I recommend grape, which produces the best results – it’s found in the frozen section. Apple juice concentrate produces inferior results.)
2/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (I used a brand named Let’s Do Organic from Whole Foods that has 40% less fat)
2/3 (or more) cup roughly chopped walnuts (can substitute pecans or other nuts of your choice or don’t use any if you’re nut phobic)
2/3 cup (or more) chocolate chips (I used Whole Foods’ “365” brand of “dark chocolate mini chunks” – 70% cocoa – what worked great)
(optional) a little orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor, add the flour, sugars, salt, baking soda and pulse to mix for a couple seconds. Next, add the shortening, vanilla and fruit juice concentrate. Pulse until mixed (won’t take long). Add the coconut and pulse for a few seconds or until mixed in. (Note: I later tried apple juice concentrate, which produced inferior results, so stick with grape juice concentrate or increase the amount of apple or other varieties of fruit juice concentrate to your taste.)
Taste to see if you’re happy with the level of sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more fruit juice concentrate. Remove to a bowl and stir in the nuts and chips.
At this point, you can stir in a little orange juice – like a tablespoon or so – to make the batter easier to shape.
You can use a non-stick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet and nonstick spray. My preference is to use a sheet with a Silpat, which is a terrific French silicone mat used for baking. Find it in good housewares stores (Williams Sonoma, etc.) or online.
Scoop about ¼ cup (or whatever size you like) of dough per cookie and shape/press it a little into a round, flat shape. Since the batter isn’t that fatty, these won’t spread a lot, but still leave, say, ½ inch between cookies.
Bake for around 12 minutes or until you start smelling them. If your oven does convection, that’s better for baked goods.
Cool slightly on a rack.